Cyber Security Awareness Month

Naz Sadri discusses how Employee Engagement is fundamental when communicating cyber security.

Cybercrime is a reality that we each face every day, whether we know it or not - and it’s a growing threat. So unless you don’t have an email account and you're not regularly using a computer or a digital device, then you may want to read on. And in the time it takes you to read this, there will be a cyber hack, either targeting an individual, a multinational corporation or a small business.

To give this issue real relevancy, in the UK alone every 19 seconds there is a successful hacking attempt and it’s predicted that will rise to 11 seconds by 2021. These attacks aren’t limited to sector or industry and can have varying degrees of impact whether that’s taking our personal data leading to identity theft or sensitive business data leading to operational and reputational damage. And more often than not these hackers want money, with the FBI predicting that the total amount of ransom payments is now at around a staggering $1 billion annually.

So, what’s this all got to do with you?

Well, as shocking as the figures are, perhaps more surprisingly is the fact that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error, with email being one of the main culprits for spreading malware.

October is global Cyber Security Awareness month- a chance for everyone to remind themselves of some cyber tips. While it’s a bit of a minefield out there, there are also some basic things you can do protect yourself, your business and workplace e.g. creating a strong password combination or spotting potential phishing emails.

On a business level, while some industries are more vulnerable than others, all are at risk, which is why companies are investing heavily in technologies and layers of security. Ultimately, the best defence is the individual – and each employee needs to know how to detect threats and report them internally. This is often an internal cultural challenge and that’s why here at MerchantCantos, we’ve worked on a variety of employee communications campaigns across financial services, healthcare, travel sectors to help businesses stay ahead, educate their employees about the risks and help them understand how to be cyber secure both at home and at work.

And as the theme of this year’s European initiative puts it, it’s about cyber hygiene and a daily routine, so let’s clean up our acts.

You can see some of our employee engagement cyber work here.

Naz Sadri is a Client Director at MerchantCantos.

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